• the use of shocking details to cause a lot of excitement or interest


I came across this word in today’s class when we were making a summary for the reading excerpt, “The Boston Photographs”. This word can be found in the sentence “Although some argue whether it was sensationalist and unethical to do so, purely in newspapers’ own interests, Ephron sides with their value as good photojournalism”. From learning what sensationalist meant, some people believed that the newspaper used the shocking photos to just gain attention for their newspaper.

The Boston Photographs and Project #4 peer review


  • controversy
  • journalism
  • mid ’70s
  • morality
  • ethics
  • reality
  • publicity
  • (social) media
  • explicit material
  • censorship
  • AP wire (service)


What would you add to the paragraph, particularly where I have left ellipses to indicate where more information is needed?

Nora Ephron’s short essay, “The Boston Photographs” addresses a controversy surrounding the publication of graphic images of a failed rescue attempt… and how they motivate different reactions among editors and readers. Taken by Stanley Forman using a motorized camera that allowed him to take three photos per second… Although some readers argued it was sensationalist and unethical to do publish these photos that they saw as violating the “privacy of death” only to serve the newspapers’ own interests, editors… Ephron challenges… and ultimately sides with their value as good photojournalism because …

Some saw it as very controversial while others saw it as a window into the reality of death.

Supporting points:

  1. photographer was attempting to photograph the rescue–good photojournalism
  2. negative reaction: response against the breach of the privacy of death
  3. “Death is a constant in life, so we shouldn’t shy away from its depiction, [nor] should it be censored”: issues of fire safety, fire escapes, slumlords, ghetto life

For Project #4 peer review:

Comment on two classmates’ projects, giving any of the following feedback:

  • how to make the project the right length
  • thesis statements
  • organization: does the thesis statement offer a plan for organizing the rest of the project (ie, works as a roadmap)?
  • examples: are they the three you wrote didactic panels for?
  • title for the book?
  • what’s missing?
  • what’s extraneous?
  • what’s superfluous?
  • positive feedback: that it fulfills the task, perhaps in an exceptional way; interest in the approach you’ve taken, the style you’ve written about it, the examples you’ve included
  • neutral feedback: reflect back what you understood the project is about